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RCP0909_008-017_Hangar Talk 10/18/09 7:00 PM Page 9
Advanced Training Academy – Helicopter Firefighting
Forestry Tactics and Mountain Flying Course
Homestead Helicopters, Inc. based in Area. In addition to the fire fighting, initial government agency's requirements in
Missoula, Montana has built and designed attack training the student will be intro- preparation for eligibility as a candidate
this course to introduce and train to an duced to the mountain flying environment for Fire Suppression (Helitack) and Re-
evaluation standard, the commercially and the proven flight techniques while op- tardant/Water Dropping missions.
rated pilot that has met; or is close to the erating in a high density altitude arena with HHI is located in Missoula, Montana,
flight hour requirements of the USFS/ typical mountainous terrain. Headquarters for the U.S. Forest Service
DOI. Knowledge of wildland firefighting Our experienced skilled instructors will Northern Region and home of the USFS
and proficiency within wildland firefight- use power point presentations, video, Aerial Fire Depot Smokejumper Center,
ing tactics and missions gives a pilot a printed materials, lecture, and hands on a community of 70,000 at an elevation of
head start for a professional approach to training throughout the ground academics 3220’ msl. surrounded by mountainous
operating safely, efficiently, effectively portion. The flight portion will take place terrain with peaks in excess of 9,000’ msl.
with respect to all USDA/USDI special in the high density altitude mountainous Our training facility is conveniently lo-
missions in this highly competitive com- environment surrounding Missoula, Mon- cated at Missoula International Airport.
munity. Previous experience in VTR tana enabling the training to be as effec- Our 8,000 sq. ft. hangar and our 2800 sq.
and/or external load operations is required. tive as possible from takeoff to landing. ft. of classroom space offer students a
The Ground and Flight portions of the Each student will advance throughout the comfortable, clean and professional envi-
syllabus will take the student from the be- curriculum at a pace that is challenging ronment. HHI will utilize a late model
ginning planning stages of the mission but not overwhelming. With the success- 1991 Bell 206BIII Jet Ranger that is cur-
which will include performance planning ful completion of the course, the student rently maintained under FAR 135 main-
for the specific mission flight environment will have been trained to a completion tenance standards and is also carded for
utilizing a “load calculation” form de- standard which will meet or exceed the USFS/DOI operations.

signed for HHI and similar to the USFS
5700- 17. The pre-flight process will be-
gin with the aircraft being utilized for the
mission and will progress to the equip-
ment required for the mission including
lines, waterbuckets, nets, swivels, and all
gear required to complete the mission.
The flight phase begins from takeoff with
an external load progressing to the re-
connaissance phase of the mission to in-
clude the approach and departure routes
for a safe water/retardant pickup and de-
livery. Power management, decision
making, and risk mitigation will be
stressed during each phase of flight. Ini-
tial Attack tactics will include water
dropping techniques to communication
with ground personnel. Safety concerns
and proper decision making will be at the
forefront of each pass. An understanding
of fire behavior has been identified by the
government as an important piece of the
pie for a successful Initial Attack pilot
and throughout the ground academic por-
tion of the course the student will be in-
troduced and trained to government
initial entry standards. For the pilot to
succeed from the start it is important to
have an understanding of the govern-
ment’s Incident Command System from
helibase personnel to the understanding
of safe operations in the Fire Traffic • September 2009 9
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